What to Pack Now: 8 Pieces, 8 Looks + Ideas for 8 More

I totally bombed my packing list on our Seattle trip, so I was determined to get it right this time.

Granted, it’s easier to fit more in a carry-on for a warm weather destination, but I loved the outfits I came up with from the pieces I took on our 5 year anniversary trip to St. Kitts.

You can make a ton of looks with just a few pieces, and a trip is a perfect time to dip your toe in the remixing waters if you’re nervous. This way, you have no choice. You have to remix. :)

Here are my top 3 tips for a great packing list (the looks I came up with are below):

One: Choose different types of clothing.

  • I made sure I had one each of a tank, tee, blouse, completer piece (ie: a sweater or jacket), skirt, dress, and pants, then added pieces from there.)
  • I also worked my cover ups into outfits before I wore them over my bathing suit. More on that here.
  • Don’t forget to take the weather and types of activities you’ll be doing into consideration. Sounds common sense, but even the best of us mess that up. (Cue sheepish hand-raising.)

Two: Choose a color palette.

  • This can seem harder than it is. Go with your gut, and pick items from the type of clothing list above.
  • Once you’ve pulled your first choices, look at them- do they go together?
  • Try them on. Do they fit right? (Sometimes an outfit goes ok in your head but doesn’t translate well in reality. That’s ok. Better to find out now than in Timbuktu with zero options.)
  • Do the colors look good together? If a few don’t work, swap them out for some that do.
  • Finally, add in extra pieces that compliment them (will you need extra tops? Another sweater?, etc.) Pay closest attention to your completer piece(s) like cardigans, jackets, etc.; make sure they go with most of your items. Even if you’re somewhere warm, air conditioning can be chilly. Coughstinkingplanescough.

Three: Mix it up with accessories.

  • This is hands down the best way to remix your pieces on a trip.
  • Shoes: Pack a pair of flip flops, nicer sandals and/or wedges, and a casual shoe. Make sure they’re all comfortable.
  • Purses: Pack a clutch that doubles as a wallet and easily fits in a tote you can use for the plane and the beach.
  • Scarves: A scarf doubles as a blanket on the plane and a sarong on the beach.
  • Jewelry: It takes up almost zero room, but gives you tons of options, so pack a few types of necklaces (like a delicate piece, statement, and pendant version), a bold cuff or a few stackable bracelets, and earrings: simple studs, a pair of studs with visual interest, and a chandelier pair. I also like to take a watch, especially for plane rides.
  • Belts: Throw in a belt or two, and your options are almost limitless.

Here are those tips put into action:

8 Pieces 8 Looks

I definitely had outfit options left over at the end of the trip…mostly more layered looks. I found myself wanting to relax and dress down, so my basics got the biggest workout. Here are the extras listed out:

  1. floral top left untucked over my black maxi skirt
  2. gray tee knotted over maxi dress
  3. gray tee + chartreuse sweater + cut off shorts
  4. black tank + white jeans
  5. black tank + cut off shorts
  6. black tank + chartreuse cardigan + white jeans
  7. black tank + chartreuse cardigan + black maxi skirt
  8. black tank + chartreuse cardigan + cut off shorts


Have an upcoming trip? Shop this post for similar pieces.

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1 Comment

  • Tatiana Pujol July 28, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Such a great outfit ideas. I don’t really like to take so many clothes for a vacation, especially to a beach destination. You got really chic outfits mixing and matching great pieces.

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